The Corner Creek Fire continues to burn actively on the west side of the South Fork John Day River, about 11 miles south of Dayville. The fire was mapped over the weekend and is at 27,166 burned acres since the fire started June 29. The fire grew slightly since Monday, July 6, due to the fire line relocation and burnout operations along the fire’s western flank. A lightning strike in the Black Canyon Wilderness was determined as the cause. The fire is 15 percent contained.

There are 1,100 total personnel working on the fire and crews continue to secure lines and mop up hot spots within the fire line. The crews are holding and patrolling the fire along the South Fork John Day River and road.

Helicopters and air tankers worked on the south and west flanks over the weekend with cooling water and retardant drops to help firefighters keep fire growth to a minimum due to winds pushing the blaze against fire lines.

Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 1 is working to transition management of this fire over to the Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, headed by Incident Commander Brett Fillis, who will assume command Wednesday, July 8.

A hunting cabin was destroyed by the fire, while other structures have been protected, including the Rockpile Ranch.

The total cost, as of July 7, for the Corner Creek Fire is $4,300,000.

Road and forest closures:

The South Fork Road/County Road 42 from Dayville to U.S. Forest Service 58 Road junction is closed to the general public due to fire activity. Local traffic should drive with caution due to heavy fire-related traffic. The 58 Road and 5820 Road are also closed due to active burning in the vicinity. A forest closure has been issued for part of the Ochoco National Forest near the Corner Creek Fire, including the Black Canyon Wilderness. Mud Springs and Frazier Campgrounds are closed to the public.

The West Fork Fire, burning on the north slope of the Aldrich Mountain range, is estimated at 310 acres the afternoon of Tuesday, July 7, with growth toward the west. The fire is located in the former Thorn Fire, part of the Shake Table Complex that burned a total of 14,527 acres in August 2006.

The fire was reported Monday, June 29, and held through Saturday, July 4, when winds pushed the fire past retardant lines.

The Malheur National Forest Type 3 Team, the local home unit, took over the fire Monday, July 6. The Incident Commander is Kevin Brock.

Thunderstorms with high winds were expected over the fire Tuesday evening, July 7, with a significant amount of lightning that could cause the fire to spread.

A few helicopters assigned to the Corner Creek Fire were used Monday, July 6, to cool down the West Fork Fire on the Malheur National Forest.

Fire crews, using heavy equipment and air support, are working to build lines around the fire, preparing for potential burnout operations and to keep fire growth to a minimum. Crews are focused on keeping the fire from crossing over onto private property and strengthening the east flank of the fire.

Also assigned to the fire are five 20-person crews, one tender, four falling modules, two skidgines, two dozers, one masticator and 11 miscellaneous overhead.

Deputy Fire Staff Todd Gregory said Monday, “The team is currently working on a full containment strategy.”

The Sugarloaf Fire, 8 miles north of Dayville, is currently 98 percent contained with 4,740 burned acres. Patrol and mop up continue on the Sugarloaf Fire and the 100 percent contained Blue Basin Fire while watching areas around structures.

There are 174 personnel still assigned to the fire. Fire personnel and equipment not needed on the Sugarloaf Fire are being reassigned to the Corner Creek Fire.

The total cost, as of July 7, for the Sugarloaf Fire is $3,200,000.

There were no new fires reported over the Fourth of July weekend in Grant County.

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